Coffee cake with buttercream and nuts on stand

Coffee cake

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(67 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 8

Whip up a classic coffee cake with ease. You can freeze the sponges, without the buttercream icing, if you want to save time later on. Ideal for a bake sale

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (without optional items)

  • kcal559
  • fat30g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt1.12g
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  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g butter or margarine, plus extra to grease



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tbsp instant coffee (add more if you like it strong) dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

For the icing

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 100g butter or margarine



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 ½ tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • strawberry jam (optional)
  • walnuts or cherries, to decorate (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line and grease 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. Add the sugar and butter to a bowl and whisk until very fluffy and pale.

  2. Whisk the eggs in a mug with a fork, then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour each time. (Make sure you don't use all the flour.) When the eggs have been fully combined into the mix, add the rest of the flour and the baking powder and fold it in gently.

  3. Add the dissolved coffee to the mixture, still folding. Divide into the sandwich tins and cook for 25-30 min until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Can be frozen at this stage.

  4. Meanwhile make the icing by beating the icing sugar with the butter until light and fluffy, then add the dissolved coffee. Whisk then cover and put to one side until ready to ice the cake.

  5. Once the sponges have completely cooled, spread half the icing on the bottom of one (leaving around half for the top) and spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the other, if using. Sandwich together, spread the remaining icing on top. Decorate with walnuts, or cherries if you prefer.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Chris Nelson
2nd Feb, 2019
Just started baking - so far I've managed questionable Scones, Rock Cakes and a very nice Lemon Drizzle Cake. This Coffee Cake was my 5th ever bake. I love Coffee Cake. Followed the instructions but measured everything by eye (no scales yet). Added a touch more here and there - total success and best I've eaten yet.
15th Dec, 2018
I made this for the first time yesterday- am a very experienced Baker but never made a coffee cake before and reading the reviews this sounded ideal. Followed the recipe fully, but it turned out dreadful! Flat as a pancake, crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle. It ended up in the bin. Thought I must have done something wrong, so tried it again today being very, very careful to follow the recipe to the letter, but using slightly smaller tins. Unfortunately had the same result, plus it overflowed all over the oven too, so I not only had to throw the "cake" away but clean the oven too! I've made hundreds of cakes but never ever had one go this wrong! How is everyone else getting good results?
Keisha Jane Marie Regan's picture
Keisha Jane Mar...
7th May, 2019
IM thinking of making this recipe and reading through it says to add baking powder to self raising flour. From what I know doing that would collapse the cake and make the outside cracked. Perhaps it just has too much raising agent I'm gonna give it a go without adding the extra baking powder and cream my egg whites first to make it fluffy. I'll let ya know how it goes
3rd Dec, 2018
I'm going to reserve judgement on this cake until I eat it, however I'm surprised that the cake seems overly moist, despite the skewer coming out clean - and it looks like it might collapse, so not sure how this is going to turn out.
Lisa Appleton's picture
Lisa Appleton
1st Dec, 2018
5 stars
Lisa Appleton's picture
Lisa Appleton
1st Dec, 2018
Just made this for the first time and it came out fabulous. I used 4 eggs as mine were very small. I folded a tablespoon of golden syrup, a handful of ground walnuts and a sprinkle of grated chocolate that needed to be used up, into the batter too. Cooked my sponges on 140 and they were pulled out after 18 minutes. PERFECT. Tomorrow I shall put a filling and topping on.....haven’t decided yet but it definitely won’t be This recipe is a keeper and a great go to for any cake that is easily tweaked. Love it.
Kiki L
14th Nov, 2018
I used 3 tablespoons of coffee for the cake and another 3 tablespoons for the icing. The cake turned out fabulous! The batter is just nice to fill three 16cm baking tins so I had a three-layer cake with the same amount of buttercream icing. The creaming of the butter and sugar until very pale made the cake really soft and fluffy. Definitely a keeper. I went the extra mile and made a chocolate ganache to create a drip cake and topped it with chunks of chocolate bars. It looked amazing!
Lisa Appleton's picture
Lisa Appleton
1st Dec, 2018
I creamed my sugar and egg until it was really pale and I added the beaten eggs a splash at a time with flour, yet it still was on the cusp of splitting. Im wondering if I over creamed or over beat?? Ooops that sounded so wrong lol.
Smallesti's picture
3rd Sep, 2018
What a fantastic, easy cake to make. Though, I did not use the time to bake given, I just pierced the cake with a skewer, until done. I left to cool completely until putting the buttercream, as i found even the slightest warmth separates the butter. Also I added 1 1/2 tbsp of coffee, as I found the cake not "coffeeish" enough. Overall, a lovely cake to make. :)
2nd Sep, 2018
Cake is great and turned out well, even with my dinky toaster oven.


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